How do I cope with a bereavement?

 This is the latest blog in my series on grief, and you can find my previous one here

It was dad’s funeral this month, and I was asked to read the Eulogy at the service. This is not only a great honour, but a bit of a challenge as how do I capture the essence of his life without boring people. (I think we have all sat through sleep inducing eulogies at funerals)

The approach I took was to celebrate dad’s memory and try and bring some joy to a solemn situation.

When I did the Eulogy I told funny stories about my dad, and really tried to bring some joy to the day.

In truth I did this for 2 reasons. The first reason is I wanted to celebrate my dad’s life. The second reason was that I wanted to conduct a bit of an experiment to see if I could prove that joy can exist in even the most sad and solemn situations.

The Eulogy went well, and we all had some laughs.

  • things happened after this.

Firstly – Everybody I spoke to (and I mean everyone) after the funeral told me that “you look just like your dad and have his same mannerisms”. Which was very touching, but at the same time worrying as I think of myself as a young and dynamic man, and not a sensible old man. I put those thoughts through the SEJ process by the way!

Secondly – The amount of people that I realised I had in some way given them the freedom to be joyful, as almost everyone who came up to me thanking me for the Eulogy and then told me funny stories about them and my dad.

Thirdly – Some people were overcome with grief. Now please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here, we all deal with funerals differently and grief is a natural reaction. What I am saying here, is when I was talking to them and everyone could see I was in joy, they took it upon themselves to try and make me feel sad. I did think it was quite funny, but I didn’t laugh at them, but it did get me thinking. Sometimes people can get stuck in grief or revel in grief.

The point that I am trying to make is this. I am not the arbiter of how you should deal with grief, or how long you must grieve. What I am saying is this – Even in the saddest of times you can be in joy, and if grief is consuming you and you’d like help, you can use the SEJ process like I did and return to a place of joy.

Joy can exist in the saddest of situation, and I’m really happy that I proved that to myelf.

Live in joy


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